Whilst the DDA law double deckers doesn't come in until this time next year, operators are sadly replacing the step entrance examples at an alarming rate.
|First Kernow 42471 T471JCV at Newquay|
Whilst I've never been fussed over Dart SLFs, I decided to ride aboard Dart/ALX200 42471 on the lengthy 87 route which connects Newquay to Truro via Perranporth. I guess I'll have to admit to missing the Torbay ones a bit, in comparison to the crap that has replaced them in recent times. I later caught up with my Cornish 'Stalker' Dart, 42521 R421WPX on route 21 which I rode from Quintrell Downs to St Austell.
|43810 KU52RXJ at Truro Bus Station|
Although many replacements have arrived in the form of 2002 (and one 2005) Ceatano Slimbus bodied Transbus Dart SLFs from Hereford, Essex and Great Yarmouth, it will be interesting to see if buses such as 2005 Solo 53205 and 2002 Dart 43810 are fitted with necessary equipment to comply with DDA, or if they'll be disposed of in the new year.
|42863 EG52FFK in Norwich - thanks to Cameron Robinson|
|661-4 R904BOU at Cribbs Causeway|
With only around 8 B10BLEs in line to survive DDA in Firsts South Yorkshire fleet, and a small number in Somerset, they are certainly becoming a rare breed and will be missed!
|Y243DRC at Nailsea|
The much loved Volvo B10M will be another type thats up for the chop among fleets, including Stagecoach, where in various parts of the country there is still a minority out in service! Whilst the farewell event in Manchester back in November largely marked the end of the type, some depots in Scotland and the South ran some for schools until now.
|Two Varios at Summercourt depot|
Brijan Tours also kept their step entrance Dennis Darts in service surprisingly late before their demise, however I found out the other day that N5BJT that has passed to XelaBus was still being used, and had a final swansong just the other day!
|N5BJT at Hedge End Superstores|
Sadly, whilst DDA has a lot of supporters, in my opinion it is awful. Small independent operators are having to invest money they can't afford into buying vehicles that are compliant, which are often in worse condition than the older vehicles they are replacing. It's a real shame to see perfectly good buses, like Volvo B10BLEs pensioned off with so many years left in them.
I would like to wish all my blog readers a very Happy new year for 2016!